BrainBank: Do It Yourself Tattoos

This afternoon I went to mentoring and I noticed that one of the boys had his name written in marker on his forearm. Last Friday, the same boy had his name written on his forearm as well. I pulled him aside to ask if he writes it every single day. He told me that he did. I figured it was supposed to be his makeshift tattoo and he confirmed my assumption.

Why this boy was so adamant to have a tattoo at such a young age is one issue. But what I really found interesting was his dedication to decorating himself. He felt that his “tattoo” was so important that he had to draw it every day. Did it look good? Not really. It looked a bit silly to me. But I do appreciate that he wanted to use his body as a canvas.

We can do so much with our bodies to express ourselves. Some things can be permanent. Some things can be changed. I have had countless haircuts, six piercings, different style changes, etc. Why do we care so much about our appearance? Why do we value self-expression?

I don’t dress like many girls. I had a piercing that many people did not find acceptable, but I didn’t care. It was something I wanted to have. I put up with a lot of comments because of my eye brow piercing but I wasn’t going to change my look to please someone else.

I am sure teachers and other students may have commented on this boy’s drawn tattoo. But he wanted the tattoo and stood by his art. He obviously is too young for a real tattoo but he wanted to decorate himself. I support people who want to express themselves. If you don’t have the means, make it work. Be you. Do you.


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